Regardless of your business model, customer experience is paramount to success. Not surprisingly, it’s your call center itself—the frontline of customer connections—that can often make or break a customer experience.
For instance, did you know close to 60% of consumers say customer service is a significant factor in choosing a brand? Meanwhile, 60% of consumers also say they stopped interacting with a brand because of sub-par customer service. And to top it all off, that same 60% have far higher customer service expectations now than just one year ago.
So what do all these stats have to do with call centers? To put it bluntly, customers expect more. Therefore, companies need to deliver and do better. For one, companies must ensure that the right customer speaks to the right customer service agent at the right time. Additionally, customer challenges must be resolved in an expedited manner. Finally, a far more streamlined experience is necessary if you are to retain customers; that unto itself is the toughest nut to crack. When agents are forced to repeatedly switch between numerous legacy backend systems and contact channels, this too often leads to human error, duplicated efforts, and higher average hold and response times—further compounding customer frustrations (after all, there are only so many times a customer will forgive being asked for their PIN or credit card number on the same call).
Unfortunately for many companies, legacy call center infrastructure isn’t equipped to meet modern customer expectations. And that’s an issue that MUST be resolved. So what can be done?
Cloud-based contact center solutions are the best way to address modern customer expectations for service. First, these solutions feature agility and multichannel capabilities. This provides customers the ability to choose their preferred method of communicating with businesses—whether via voice, web, email, chat, mobile or social channels. In turn, businesses gain access to huge pools of behavioral, demographic and location-based customer information, enabling them to properly match the customer to the “right” agent—that is, the agent most qualified and able to respond to a specific customer issue. This further increases the potential that the customer’s needs will be quickly addressed within the first interaction, thereby improving overall customer satisfaction.
Second, the cloud enables seamless integrations with additional business platforms—making it significantly easier for companies to customize to create the desired outcome. When critical customer, product, and other information is separated between different systems, agents tend to present a disjointed experience for customers—and appear unknowledgeable or incompetent in the process. Cloud contact center technology solves that problem by seamlessly connecting customer service agents to the full range of your company’s knowledge sources including backend customer, inventory and billing systems. As a result, agents immediately have access to data that provides a quicker and stronger understanding of each individual customer, minimizing the need to collect as much information about the customer each time they call. Moreover, the cloud simplifies the complex nature of most products and services—solving the otherwise nearly impossible task of ensuring all agents have a deep knowledge of all aspects of their company’s offerings.
Recent studies show 33% of consumers identify a good customer service experience through the ability to resolve their issue in one interaction—regardless of the time it takes. Meanwhile, 31% maintain that a knowledgeable customer service agent is the essential characteristic of making that happen. Therefore, a cloud-based contact center solution that enables the right agent to engage with the customer on the first attempt already contributes to that customer’s overall positive interaction and satisfaction. Moreover, to further improve the customer experience, data can also be continually collected and analyzed to bring both on-the-fly and long-term improvements to the call center environment.
With a cloud-based phone system that includes contact center capabilities, the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple communications channels, and quick access to all the tools on agents’ desktops—you are creating better experiences that lead to happier customers. This ultimately makes the agents’ job easier, leading them to deliver even better customer service. The cycle continues, and your business grows.